Congratulations to Njoku Nonso, whose poem “My Mother Called Me a Bastard I Stood Laughing Because the First Rule of the Job is to Have Sex” was selected by judge Donika Kelly (Cave Canem Poetry Prize) as the winner of the 2022 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest! About Nonso’s winning poem, Kelly writes:
“My Mother Called Me a Bastard I Stood Laughing Because the First Rule of the Job is to Have Sex” is a poem of inquiry and vulnerability. In the shadows between declaration and interrogation thrums a longing to know and be known, to remember.
Nonso is a Nigerian Igbo-born poet and essayist. His work—which explores the self as a unit of language, familyhood, spaces, death, grief, and otherness—has been published in Chestnut Review, YabaLeft Review, Agbowo, Bodega, 20.35 Africa, Rising Phoenix Press (Pushcart-nominated), Memento: An Anthology of Nigerian Contemporary Poetry, Ake Review, and elsewhere. A 2022 Unserious Collective fellow, he’s a finalist for the Open Drawer Poetry Contest, the Lumiere Review Inaugural Writing Contest, and most recently the Chestnut Review’s Stubborn Writers Contest.
Nonso’s poem will appears in our special arts issue Speculation, which will be out in early 2023. To make sure you’re among the first to receive it, become a member. Through the end of November, Advocate-level (print + digital) memberships are 40% off with checkout code FINAL40.
Kelly also selected six finalists:
- Sara Elkamel, “I Have Not Been a Child in Years”
- Kristin Emanuel, “footage of Benjamin, the last living Tasmanian tiger – 1935 colorized”
- Alexis Jackson, “Saint Lillie”
- Aaron Magloire, “Poem for Tamir Rice’s 18th Birthday”
- Jabulile Mickle-Molefe, “Exodus”
- Ashley Warner, “Sabrina Princeton”
Congratulations to Nonso, as well as all the finalists! We’re grateful for the support of everyone who entered!